Fort Zeller Nov 10 1969

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Fort Zeller Nov 10 1969 - Lebanon Daily News, Lebanon, Pa,, Monday,...
Lebanon Daily News, Lebanon, Pa,, Monday, November 10, 1989 Pag. 17 OflfOfCoif At/f 0/cfof Tourist Attraction* History Of Fort Zeller Dates Back To Earl/ 1700's And Indian Days By SHIRLEY A. WEINHOLD Rlchliad CornwpoadeBt Located west of New* manstown, just off Rout* 419, in the fertile, farmlands farmlands of Lebanon County, close to the junction of the Millbach and Cherington Streams on the banks of the Millbach, is Pennsylvania's oldest existing Indian fort, commonly known as Fort Zeller. Many local citizens are unaware of this historic historic fortress and the significance significance its existence had on the Lebanon Valley. Early settlers were forced to construct some sort of defense against warring and raiding Indians. Indians. Vaulted cellars, high stockades and block houses were built to keep the red intruders out. The Zeller Fort is a well-sized and stoutly built structure. It is two stories high and has a spacious spacious cellar half underground, from which, flows a strong and beautiful stream of clear water, which has its life here in a perennial spring. Heinrich Zeller, in 1745, built the Fort as shown on an en graved headstone within the wall. The building has been kept in good repair. Previous generations had long used the building as a weaver's shop. Came In 1723 The Zellers came to the Leb anon Valley in 1723 after spending ten years in the Scho harie Valley on the other side of the Catskill Mountains in New York. An emissary of the Governor Governor of Pennsylvania visited their colony and tried to interest them in settling in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania. John Zeller was one of the MAIN ENTRANCE — This is the main entrance to Fort Zeller located just west of Newmanstown off Route 419 in southeast Lebanon County. The present fort, built in 1745 of native limestone over an underground limestone spring, was rebuilt after the first fort built of logs in 1723 deteriorated. The location is near the old Indian trail which led from the Susquehanna region south to the Tulpehocken Valley and then continued continued over the South Mountains to the Schuylkill Valley. burial lot north of the Harrisburg Harrisburg Pike near Stouchsburg. Heinrich Zeller had deep- rooted religious convictions. The people of the settlement looked to him for spiritual guidance. The Zeller Fort afforded protection protection from the redmen while the pioneers deliberated the future of the church. While attending attending these meetings, the men had their flintlock guns stacked against the wall in the Zeller kitchen. Fort Was Needed The necessity for building a house in the form of a fort was evident. Bands of Indians boys. Bearing pitchforks and flintlock muskets, they marched over the Valley toward the Susquehanna Susquehanna and .drove the invading invading forces out of that section. Heinrich Zeller was one of the men who served under Weiser. Story Of Christine There is an interesting story told about Christine, the wife of Heinrich Zeller. Legend has it that she was alone in the house one day and single-handedly decapitated three Indians at the cellar loop-hole on the side through which the water flows out from the spring. Christine saw these Indians approaching, Erom the fields of the original land owned by Heinrich Zeller, was placed at the entrance to the lane leading to the Fort. A stainless steel plaque, mounted on the stone, bears an engraving of the original Indian deed (1731) to 500 acres of land situated situated south of the Tulpehocken Creek. The document was signed by Alumoppes, King of the Schuylkill Indians, as well as the family chiefs of the Oneidas, who were Shekelamy and Pisquetomen, vice gerents of the Six Nations. Some historians historians believe the deed is the only Indian deed in Pennsyl-; vania to private settlers in the ENTRANCE DOOR — This is the double door entrance entrance to Fort Zeller.^ Carved above the door is ths Zeller coat-of-arms. An engraved headstone to the right of the door bears the name of Heinrich Zeller, 1745. UNDERGROUND SPRING — This is the side door leading to the underground spring beneath Fort Zeller. The window to the left of the door was the scene of the massacre of three Indians by Christine Zeller. blem '(coat-of-arms) to relate the fact that this historic dwelling dwelling is in the area. With the exception of about 40 years, the Zeller Fort has remained remained in the Zeller family since it was built. The present cellent state of preservation. The guest register shows tourists from many states, yet, strangely enough, many people from Lebanon and surrounding counties have never visited this ancient and historic landmark. organ, large spinning weel '(for flax), marble-top washstand, rope bed, desk, wooden ballot box, cradles, dolls, many irons, including a charcoal heated iron, clocks of every description, trunks; and in the kitchen area one sees large caldrons, ancient shape and size, baskets, crocks, candle molds and many other, interesting and fascinating articles. articles. While touring the Zeller Fort and reliving the exciting days of yesteryear when many of our ancestors pioneered to this

Clipped from
  1. Lebanon Daily News,
  2. 10 Nov 1969, Mon,
  3. Page 17

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  • Fort Zeller Nov 10 1969

    lsk3 – 03 Mar 2013

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